“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Annan
If you’re like me, the back-to-school season brings with it a deep sense of nostalgia. As the air chills and the leaves begin to curl, it’s easy to be transported back to childhood – those crisp September mornings where you can see just a hint of your breath on the breeze, a fresh pair of sneakers kicking pebbles as you wait for the school bus, an unblemished notebook and the first click of a new pen.
As your students prepare to transition from the warmth and ease of the summer to the more structured school days, have you ever thought, “Now that I’m older and wiser, I wish I could go back to school – I’d appreciate it so much more”?
(I spend all day in a school, so I know for a fact: you do appreciate it more in hindsight.)
Well, I hope you share this sentiment – because this year, TQS will be inviting parents and guardians into the classroom to do some learning of their own.
Here’s some context: in the spring, I shared with you our new strategic direction, Leading the Change. In it, we committed to creating positive change for all students with complex challenges – and this year we hope to serve as a shining example of how a school can improve student executive functioning through a comprehensive, explicit system for teaching these critical skills.
(Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.)
TQS hired renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Cheryl Chase to design an executive functioning curriculum for our school and spend two years training our faculty on delivering the curriculum. However, since our goal is for our students to find the right-fit path forward to fulfilling their full potential, our interventions are at their best with a strong family partnership.
For this reason, TQS will offer this executive-functioning training for parents as well as faculty.
This Back-to-School Night on September 28, Dr. Chase will be presenting a one-hour training exclusively for TQS families who want to support their students at home. Dr. Chase will also be producing written documents, educational videos, and live Zoom meetings just for TQS families. Each time Dr. Chase trains faculty, she will also work with families, allowing us all to learn together how to best support our students.
This intensive collaboration, and the consistency it will create, will ensure our students flourish.
I am incredibly excited to head back to the classroom this year – and I hope you share my enthusiasm. Not only do I look forward to learning beside you, but I am also eager to see how much our students have grown over the summer. I love hearing their stories and sharing the joy of our community coming back together.
This year holds so much promise. I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of our students on our first day of school next Tuesday, September 5, 2023!